Elon Musk would consider investing in a competitor to Neuralink

Frustrated with the too slow progress of Neuralink, Elon Musk would discuss with Synchron, a competitor. Contacts which the multi-billionaire is used to.

Neuralink, a company co-founded by Elon Musk, has been working on a brain-machine interface since 2016. If it showed its progress by unveiling to the world a macaque capable of controlling the cursor in a game of Pong by thought, the tests on the man have not started yet. Today, according to ReutersElon Musk has reportedly made contact in recent weeks with rival company Synchron to discuss a possible investment.

At this point, it’s unclear what Elon Musk would have to offer – would it be a collaboration or a “simple” financial investment – as neither party has responded or confirmed. information. Sources of Reuters would also have claimed that this agreement is far from certain and that Synchron has not yet decided to accept the offer of Elon Musk. Apparently, the multi-billionaire approached Synchron’s CEO after expressing his frustration with Neuralink teams over the slow progress.

Neuralink had announced in 2019 that it was expecting approval for human testing in 2020. In January this year, the company began looking for a director of clinical trials who would oversee the testing of the medical device on human subjects. However, this phase has not yet been initiated and the FDA has not yet revealed Neuralink’s progress on this issue.

Elon Musk would discuss with Synchron, a competitor

At the same time, Synchron announced in July that it had implanted its brain-computer interface into the motor cortex of a human patient in the United States for the very first time. Doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai West performed the surgery as part of the company’s COMMAND trial, which aims to assess the safety of the Synchron implant in patients with severe paralysis. The company has also completed a study in Australia, in which four people were found to be in perfect condition after living with the implant for one year.

Like Neuralink, Synchron hopes to provide people with reduced mobility the ability to control devices like smartphones or computers by mere thought. This would give them some independence, allowing them to send emails, text messages and perform other digital tasks. A few months ago, Max Hodak, the co-founder of Neuralink who had left the company in 2021, revealed that he had an advisory role at Synchron. He also invested financially in the company, “given [son] excitement for what they do”.

Note that Elon Musk has already discussed with other Neuralink competitors in the past. Reuters explains that the multi-billionaire had notably contacted the developer Paradromics in 2020, but that had not been successful.

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